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Plumber Fills Firefighters’ Tanks Using Undocumented Hookup

Peter Kornbluth Had Connected to Main in Preparation for the Inevitable


Patty Look Lewis evacuated with her husband Walter, her daughter Estelle, and two dogs. There are three houses on the property: Landlord Peter Kornbluth’s, and below that, the home of Kornbluth’s mother-in-law, Laura Bissel, next to which is the Lewis home. Look Lewis gave the following account of how Kornbluth saved their homes and others in the vicinity of 1976 Las Canoas Road, adjacent to Skofield Park, on the Mission Canyon side.

In the two lower houses, horses were being ridden off the property, down toward Mission Canyon to be evacuated, and we were loading up our cars. Everybody on the property was ready to leave except for Peter. He had parked his truck facing downhill, but he was still on the property trying to figure out what he was going to do next when a police officer came up and told him about the mandatory evacuation. He said okay, and drove downhill and took a sharp left through the avocado grove and turned off his headlights.

When the police car left the driveway, he returned. He told us he’d known for 19 years living in that area that this day was coming, and he’s a plumber, so in the deck area of our house he had a huge fire hose, connected to the water main for just this purpose.

He started hosing down our house and was joined by firemen who then arrived; and he ended up refilling their tanks with the water hose. Those guys and Peter stopped the fire right at our driveway. Our house was inches from being completely consumed.

All the fire trucks in that area were coming to him to get their tanks refilled.

He was there all night long. At 6:30 a.m., he called and said, ‘Your house is safe.’

And Peter was so cute, because he said, ‘I have all these new friends now. They’re not from here, and they all wear yellow.’

So we decided that yellow is the new black.”

For more stories from the fire, go to Voices of the Evacuated.

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